New Jersey Nets’ Brook Lopez: Late-Game Benching an Issue or a Non-Story?

November 12th, 2010 by Ryan Comstock Leave a reply »
Brook Lopez, the New Jersey Nets' center, was thought to be the team's franchise player, the guy they would build around for years.

When the Nets were discussing possible trade scenarios in an attempt to acquire Carmelo Anthony, Lopez was said to be the only untouchable on the roster.

It was curious, then, to see him sitting on the bench during crunch time against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Coach Avery Johnson stated that he was just playing the hot hand, the group of guys who had kept New Jersey in the game and eventually won the game.

That is a valid argument, but is there something more going on here?

Johnson has, to say the least, been displeased with Lopez's play this year. In a film session earlier this week, he repeatedly spoke of "tissue paper" when describing his team's defense.

Lopez said he felt like it was all directed at him.

Now, I will say that coaches are often hardest on the guys they think have the most potential. They see what a guy is capable of, the force he could become, and want to coax it out of him however they can.

Lopez, for his part, has not shied a ...

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